The neighbors of Joseph assert that the Smith family was known for being poor.

Jan 1832
Nathaniel W. Howell
2nd Hand

Nathaniel W. Howell and Others to Ancil Beach, January 1832 in Dan Vogel, ed. Early Mormon Documents, 5 vols. (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2000), 3:14-16

Nathaniel W. Howell
Jared Willson, Ancil Beach, Walter Hubbell, Henry Chapin, Ansel D. Eddy, Lewis Jenkins, Nathaniel W. Howell
Ancil Beach

The neighbours of Smith and the others give the following account of them—Joseph Smith has lived in and about Manchester for several years an idle worthless fellow; previous to the Mormon project he had been engaged for some time in company with several others of the same Character Employed in digging for money[.] They were poor as well as worthless and for a time were supported by a man Mr Fish an illiterate man of some property who was duped by them, and when he found that his money diggers were like to consume what he had gathered by his industry he turned them off—Joseph Smith then pretended to have found a box, in digging in the woods, containing some gold plates with Characters upon them which none but himself could decypher—Cowdry who certifies to the Book of Mormon was a school master in the town of Manchester and went away with Smith to the State of Pennsylvania and was employed by Smith to write down for him what he interpreted from the mystic characters upon the plates—They then induced Martin Harris a farmer of respectable property to become responsible for an edition of 5000 copies of the Book which was accordingly published in Palmyra.

Citations in Mormonr Qnas
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